Urban services are lax in major Indian cities: survey

March 31st, 2009 - 8:17 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, March 31 (IANS) The condition of urban infrastructure in India is abysmal and services to the urban poor are pathetic, according to a survey released Tuesday.
The Society for Participatory Research in Asia (PRIA), a civil society organisation, carried out the survey involving 3,820 individuals in low and high income earning categories in six Indian cities - Jaipur, Raipur, Ranchi, Patna, Shimla and Varanasi.

Despite an approved expenditure of Rs.50 billion by various state governments and municipalities under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM), the urban sanitation systems, water supply and waste management in these cities was in a deplorable condition, the findings indicated.

According to the survey, 60 percent households were dissatisfied with the services in terms of quantity, quality, frequency and timing of water supply.

It has been found that people were also not satisfied with the maintenance of community latrines, especially on parameters of their availability, accessibility and cleanliness. On an average, 40 to 50 percent households had rated these services from average to poor.

The surveyed citizens have also expressed their dissatisfaction over the solid waste management in their localities, the survey said. A good one-third of the citizens were willing to pay additional money to the municipality, if there would be an improved garbage disposal and street sweeping.

“The objective was to identify the issues and problems of citizens. The findings of the survey gave an insight into the perceptions of the citizens on basic civic services like water supply, sanitation (including public toilets, drainage and sewerage) and solid waste management, which are provided by the municipalities,” said Rambha Tripathy, programme officer PRIA.

“It is clear that with rapid urbanisation, there has been tremendous pressure on the urban basic services,” Tripathy said, adding that the survey hopes to point out shortcomings and reassess strategies under the JNNURM scheme.

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